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THEGENTLEHAND

作者:admin    文章来源:盐田区外国语学校    更新时间:2017-12-29

经典晨读美文:THE GENTLE HAND温柔的手
相关的时间和地点不是我现在要简述的重点,反正就是在很久以前,我途经一个人迹罕至的乡村地区时,夜幕在不知不觉中降临了。因为是不步行,所以在一个小时以后我才有希望到达我要到的那个村寨,因此我想寻找到一个寓所,在第一个出现的简陋寓所中临时住一个晚上......
  Timothy S.Arthur (b.1809,d.1885) was born near Newburgh,N.Y.,but passed most of his life at Baltimore and Philadelphia.His opportunities for good schooling were quite limited,and he may be considered a self-educated man.He was the author of more than a hundred volumes,principally novels of a domestic and moral tone,and of many shorter tales-magazine articles,etc.“Ten Nights in a Barroom,”and“Three Years in a Mantrap,”are among his best known works.
  1.When and where it matters not now to relate-but once upon a time,as I was passing through a thinly peopled district of country,night came down upon me almost unawares.Being on foot,I could not hope to gain the village toward which my steps were directed,until a late hour; and I therefore preferred seeking shelter and a night's lodging at the fi rst humble dwelling that presented itself.
  2.Dusky twilight was giving place to deeper shadows,when I found myself in the vicinity1 of a dwelling,from the small uncurtained windows of which the light shone with a pleasant promise of good cheer and comfort.The house stood within an inclosure,and a short distance from the road along which I was moving with wearied feet.
  3.Turning aside,and passing through the ill-hung gate,I approached the dwelling.Slowly the gate swung on its wooden hinges,and the rattle of its latch,in closing,did not disturb the air until I had nearly reached the porch in front of the house,in which a slender girl,who had noticed my entrance,stood awaiting my arrival.
  4.A deep,quick bark answered,almost like an echo,the sound of the shutting gate,and,sudden as an apparition,the form of an immense dog loomed in the doorway.At the instant when he was about to spring,a light hand was laid upon his shaggy neck,and a low word spoken.
  5.“Go in,Tiger,”said the girl,not in a voice of authority,yet in her gentle tones was the consciousness that she would be obeyed; and,as she spoke,she lightly bore upon the animal with her hand,and he turned away and disappeared within the dwelling.
  6.“Who's that?”A rough voice asked the question; and now a heavy-looking man took the dog's place in the door.
  7.“How far is it to G-?”I asked,not deeming it best to say,in the beginning,that I sought a resting place for the night.
  8.“To G-!”growled the man,but not so harshly as at fi rst.“It's good six miles from here.”
  9.“A long distance; and I'm a stranger and on foot,”said I.“If you can make room for me until morning,I will be very thankful.”
  0.I saw the girl's hand move quickly up his arm,until it rested on his shoulder,andnow she leaned to him still closer.
  11.“Come in.We'll try what can be done for you.”There was a change in the man's voice that made me wonder.I entered a large room,in which blazed a brisk fi re.Before the fi re sat two stout lads,who turned upon me their heavy eyes,with no very welcome greeting.A middle-aged woman was standing at a table,and two children were amusing themselves with a kitten on the fl oor.
  12.“A stranger,mother,”said the man who had given me so rude a greeting at the door;“and he wants us to let him stay all night.”
  13.The woman looked at me doubtingly for a few moments,and then replied coldly,“We don't keep a public house.”
  14.“I'm aware of that,ma'am,”said I;“but night has overtaken me,and it's a long way yet to G-.”
  15.“Too far for a tired man to go on foot,”said the master of the house,kindly,“so it's no use talking about it,mother; we must give him a bed.”
  16.So unobtrusively1 that I scarce noticed the movement,the girl had drawn to her mother's side.What she said to her I did not hear,for the brief words were uttered in a low voice; but I noticed,as she spoke,one small,fair hand rested on the woman's hand.
  17.Was there magic in that touch? The woman's repulsive2 aspect changed into one of kindly welcome,and she said,“Yes,it's a long way to G-.I guess we can fi nd a place for him.”
  18.Many times more during that evening,did I observe the magic power of that hand and voice-the one gentle yet potent3 as the other.On the next morning,breakfast being over,I was preparing to take my departure when my host4 informed me that if I would wait for half an hour he would give me a ride in his wagon to G-,as business required him to go there.I was very well pleased to accept of the invitation.
  19.In due time,the farmer's wagon was driven into the road before the house,and I was invited to get in.I noticed the horse as a rough-looking Canadian pony,with a certain air of stubborn endurance.As the farmer took his seat by my side,the family came to the door to see us off.
  20.“Dick!”said the farmer in a peremptory5 voice,giving the rein a quick jerk as he spoke.But Dick moved not a step.“Dick! you vagabond! get up.”And the farmer's whip cracked sharply by the pony's ear.
  21.It availed6 not,however,this second appeal.Dick stood fi rmly disobedient.Next the whip was brought down upon him with an impatient hand; but the pony only reared up a little.Fast and sharp the strokes were next dealt to the number of half a dozen.The man might as well have beaten the wagon,for all his end was gained.
  22.A stout lad now came out into the road,and,catching Dick by the bridle,jerked him forward,using,at the same time,the customary language on such occasions,but Dick met this new ally7 with increased stubbornness,planting his fore feet more fi rmly and at a sharper angle with the ground.
  23.The impatient boy now struck the pony on the side of the head with his clinchedhand,and jerked cruelly at his bridle.It availed nothing,however; Dick was not to be wrought upon by any such arguments.
  24.“Don't do so,John!”I turned my head as the maiden's sweet voice reached my ear.She was passing through the gate into the road,and in the next moment had taken hold of the lad and drawn him away from the animal.No strength was exerted in this; she took hold of his arm,and he obeyed her wish as readily as if he had no thought beyond her gratifi cation.

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